It was probably destiny.
I come from a family of two boys, me and my brother. Our mother was outnumbered. It was just mom and the three boys (dad included). So we heard from time to time, especially during our adolescent years, how we needed to respect women, and in particular mom. She wasn’t about to let us roll over her. And we didn’t.
Then when I got to college, there were a group of very intelligent, independent, stand-up-for-yourself young ladies I became friends with. I called them the the “power women of Santa Clara University”, because they were all about leadership, speaking up about things that concerned them (and everyone), and making a difference in the world. Lots more respect for women came out of those years.
So as a result, I think I’ve always been comfortable with girls, women, ladies. Though that trait didn’t always translate to being readily successful on the dating scene, I’ve always had women friends. I get along with them and seem to empathize effectively. Yep, all in all, I can understand and relate to women pretty well I think (however, my wife might say different, at least some of the time).
Now I find myself with two daughters of my own. It all seems to have fallen into place. The next chapter is well underway in my life now.
I can say this for sure: Though I know gender equality has a long way to go, it’s a lot better than it was even fifty years ago (at least in the U.S.). I’m glad my girls will grow up here.
They’ll have great opportunities with women’s sports in school. Professionally they’ll have a chance to work in a much broader array of disciplines and fields than girls had even just a generation ago (and further back too, of course). Sure, glass ceilings still exist, but it’s getting better. The awareness certainly is much greater.
There are more women in leadership, both in public life, and in industry.
There are fine organizations like He for She that are doing amazing work to further women’s issues and rights AROUND THE WORLD.
There’s the work of people like Yassmin Abdel-Magied ~ a young women bending stereotypes from start to finish and inspiring young people (and many others!) to make a difference in the way they think and act and DO.
Closer to my home, there are the Silicon Valley Roller Girls. This organization is grass-roots, runs several flat track roller derby teams for ladies (part of a national movement of teams and leagues around the US) , and is all about empowering women, especially as they come of age from adolescence.
Yep, with my two girls now to the fore of my mind every day, my lifetime orientation to women is at a whole new level. I’m glad to know there’s so much awareness and effort and action behind moving the world toward gender equality.
A lot more good stuff on this topic found here: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/